Memories


I don’t know when he bought her. But as story goes, he saved up to purchase a boat by tossing all his spare change into the bottom of his duffle bag while working the lines for Canadian Pacific Telecommunications.  This would have happened in the late 40’s or, more likely the the early 50’s.


But I know when my grandfather was directed to sell her.  That would have happened just after he suffered a heart attack in 1968.  I was five years old. And I know that the advice he recieved – to sell this beautiful wooden shooner in an effort to reduce stress – was bad advice.  I’m sure it caused more stress than it relieved. My grandmother always said, it broke his heart. Indeed, his condition for the sale was that the boat not sail in his local waters, so he wouldn’t have to see her.


The Wawaloon has changed hands a couple of times until she found her way home.  Most recently, she was bought by a friend of the family under whose care she was underwent a generous and sympathetic restoration. And!  That also means we get invited for a sail from time to time!!


It is the most comforting and exhilarating feeling to enter a space, a childhood space that is firmly woven into family lore, a space that you have not been in for almost 50 years.  And then to find that space looks, feels and smells the exactly the same as it did back then. 

I half expected to hear my grandparents voices.  

I guess that’s the essence of nostalgia.

Permission to Come Aboard?

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This door leads to the cabins below the deck of the Bluenose II, a replica of the original fishing and racing schooner.  The original schooner Bluenose was purpose built in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia in 1921 in response to a losing an international race off Gloucester, Massachusetts.  And win she did!  The Bluenose held the title for 7 years.  She was also a working boat, fishing cod on the Grand Banks off of Newfoundland until fishing schooners became obsolete. Sadly, in spite of efforts to keep her in Lunenburg, the Bluenose was sold to the West Indies where she worked as a freighter until she struck a reef off Haiti in 1946.

The story continues in 1963, when Olands Brewery commissioned a replica be built by the same Lunenburg shipyard and using the same plans as the Bluenose.  The brewery used Bluenose II to represent their Schooner brand of beer until it was sold to the Province of Nova Scotia for $1.00 (or 10 Canadian dimes) in 1971.  This beautiful vessel then became our “sailing ambassador” and a great source of pride for the people of Nova Scotia and all of Canada.  In fact, her image in on the Canadian ten cent piece (the dime).

After almost 40 years and several refits, the Bluenose II was decommissioned and a “reconstruction” was ordered.  Happily, several weeks ago, the new Bluenose II received the green light to sail and she is ready to work. She was a beautiful sight earlier today, in the morning light, with her crew polishing and preparing to welcome visitors. It feels like a long lost relative has come home….. and after surviving an illness.  We are so happy to have her back.

The name Bluenose comes from a nickname given to the people of Nova Scotia.  We are called Bluenosers.  Is this because of our cold, damp winters? Or, as some say, from the dye rubbing off the fishermen’s mittens as they rubbed their noses in the cold and wet North Atlantic while fishing for cod?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Door.  Also, my entry for Norm’s Thursday Doors.

Water, water…..

For whatever we lose (like a you or a me),
It’s always our self we find in the sea.
– e.e. cummings

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Photo of the start of Nova Scotia Schooner Association Race (July 2014), out of Riverport.

It was an absolutely spectacular week of races. In Nova Scotia, we are almost completely surrounded by water….nearly an island. Water plays a part in our lives everyday….our livelihood, our recreation, our scenery, our weather. It flavours the very air we breathe. It is our essence.

This post is in response to the daily assignment for Photo 101 – Day 3: Water